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Dikembe Mutombo endorses Joel Embiid’s finger wag

Sixers, Dikembe Mutombo, Joel Embiid

If anyone is up for carrying on the tradition of Dikembe Mutombo’s famous finger wag, it’s Sixers All-Star Joel Embiid.


Mutombo, a four-time Defensive Player of the Year award winner, became one of the most prolific shot blockers in NBA history. His 3,289 blocked shots are second only to the great Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwan (3,830).


Mutombo’s finger wag, which usually came after he sent back a shot, has served as an inspiration to thousands of athletes from all levels of sport, including Embiid, who often chooses to imitate the gesture after a big play:

Some players might feel a certain way about their signature move being used elsewhere. Mutombo, however, is endorsing Embiid:

Embiid has established himself as one of the best big men in today’s NBA, and Mutombo has taken notice. In fact, Mutombo has taken Embiid under his wing, so to speak, mentoring him on proper finger-wagging techniques:

“He’s one of the best big men we have in the game today,” Mutombo told TMZ in November. “I love the kid so much. He’s the next Hakeem Olajuwan with a little bit of Mutombo. I’m just trying to teach him the ‘No, no, no!’ He’s working on it. He’s doing his thing.”


Though he has already made a name for himself in the NBA, Mutombo, a native of The Republic of the Congo, isn’t quite ready to label Embiid (Cameroon) as the greatest player to hail from Africa. Mutumbo reserved that honor for Olajuwan: